At the meeting of the members of the European Confederation of Police (EuroCOP) in Edinburgh between the 22 and 24 November, the deteriorating situation on the border between Lithuania and Belarus was presented for discussion by the National Association of Officers’ Trade Unions (NPPSS) from Lithuania (pictured).

At that meeting members unanimously endorsed the following statement to be sent to the members of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, as well as the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament. The statement will also be sent to all Lithuanian members of the European Parliament.

“The deteriorating situation on the Lithuanian and Belarusian border ought to be a matter of concern for the whole of Europe. There can be little doubt that police officers on the border are on the frontline of sustained attempts to destabilise the region.

“As the pressures on the Polish border with Belarus appear to be abating, in part due to the reinforcement of border protection measures, the risk of the transfer of hostility to the Lithuanian Border is already being felt.

“Police officers in the area are already exposed to exceptional workloads and the associated risks this creates. The safety of police officers is at risk and the dangers they encounter and are exposed to are intolerable.

“The institutions of Europe cannot consider that this is an internal issue for a member state, and should provide all necessary assistance to FRONTEX and the Lithuanian Police to safely respond to the challenges on their borders, and to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the safety of those who work there.”

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